Progression: Halo: CE - Halo 4

Hi All,

So in my pre-Halo 4 excitement I have begun (what many others have also) an epic journey of Halo campaigns and achievement hunting. All I need now is some from Reach and Wars (most require DLC, which I’m not sure on yet).

However, I digress. The Main point of this topic is to converse with the community my experiences with all the Halo games and hopefully reassure others about the Halo 4.

Progression, arguably the most important topic. Some call it evolution others call it deformation (this being a common trend for game companies today as they rush to adopt game mechanics from other popular franchises in an attempt to increase their audience base, often very unsuccessfully).

Before my journey I would have put myself in the latter group, arguing that Halo is Halo and it should stay true to its roots, yet even as I write this I hear the loud FAIL buzzer ringing in my ears because from someone that has invested time and energy into every Halo game I know that statement to be wrong. You see it wasn’t just Reach that tried new things, even though it is slated as dirtying the franchise for awful new mechanics. One only has to play CE anniversary for 10 minutes and things start to go a miss.

No Boarding
No proper Precision weapons
No EMP blasts
Poor Movement (crouch and jump) mechanics
Over powered grenades
Overpowered everything (yet useless at the same time)
Gentle bump splatters
Legendary Elites
Health bars (and an annoying heart beat)

When I started playing CE Anniversary it felt completely alien to me and to be honest I completely sucked at it, even though I had invested 2 happy years of time on the original Xbox and on a game without live! Most of the things listed above have been subtle game changes, evolutions. Where I think Bungie went wrong with Reach is that instead of evolving Halo 3 they brought back devolved outdated aspects from the CE (health system, inaccurate precession weapons etc.) and tried implement them into a modern day evolved Halo.

Now, Halo 4 has introduced lots of changes and evolutions which has many of the community worried in fear if a second Reach.

Objective game type changes
Default sprint
Flood in MM

Except much of these things are really just evolved aspects.

How many default games in H3 did you spend the first 2 minutes looking for a BR?
‘Tank beats everything!!! Whoa man I could do this all day’ What was true in campaign is true in MM
Flag dropped, flag taken, Flag dropped, flag taken, Flag dropped, flag taken and flag captured.
You die…now enjoy the marathon back to middle map!
Because a change in armour colour makes you feel special?

Now I’m not saying there aren’t any holes in my thinking but what I think is important to remember is that many of the new aspects on Halo 4 may address some of the issue we all experience as a community with these wonderful games. Halo 4 looks to be back on track in evolution, using the right mechanics from H3 and Reach. So stop worrying! Relax and enjoy it because I truly believe its going to be something special.

What I find funny is the “competitive” players complaining about how “343 has done almost nothing to please the competitive Halo gamers”, which is an actual quote I just read in another thread.

Let’s see…

  • They did away with Armour Lock, which they (competitive gamers) hated
  • They nerfed the Jetpack
  • They brought back the BR
  • The removed (for some weapons) or drastically reduced bloom so that it’s almost negligible in most cases
  • They brought back the Carbine
  • They brought back the movement speed & jump height from Halo 3
  • They made better maps (and made sure to include at least a few symmetrical maps, which competitive gamers love)
  • They nerfed most of the Armour Abilities so that they’re not so game-breaking and are more complimentary then anything else
  • They are making everything very customizable, so as to allow flexibility (even flag dropping is a future customizable option)
  • They are including SOME sort of skill-based ranking system (details still not revealed)
  • They, in a way, brought back “power drain” from Halo 3 (now in the form of the Promethean Grenades)
  • The “insta-splosion” grenade launching trick is back and is consistent as Halo 3 (Google it if you don’t know what it is)
  • They made Forge maps much easier and quicker to make, and have dynamic lighting so as to look less like “Lego” maps and more “real”, for all those that want to create classic maps to play on (e.g. MLG creating “The Pit” and “Sanctuary” remakes, etc.)
  • They are including “Classic” playlists that exclude most or all of the new changes (e.g. Armour Abilities, Specializations, random weapon spawns, etc.)

…and even more that I can’t think of right now. That’s “almost nothing?” I think what that actually means is “they didn’t make the game to ONLY suit us, and did things to please casual gamers as well… which is unacceptable, even though they are the majority and competitive gamers are the minority.”

343 isn’t going to mold the game to competitive gamers completely, because those gamers are a small minority of the overall Halo population. Sure, they’re not going to completely ignore them, but Halo, as a franchise, wouldn’t survive if it doesn’t appeal to the mass market, which is largely “casual” players. The best option, then, rather than catering solely to one group or the other, is to create a game that is flexible enough to appeal to BOTH crowds. Not everyone will love the game as much as the next person, but it’s a better strategy than trying to appeal to only one group of people, and if done properly, will breath new life into a franchise that sadly has been dwindling in recent years in comparison to it’s Halo 2/Halo 3 heyday.

They’re doing the right thing. Halo 4 might not do EVERYTHING right, but it’s certainly several steps in the right direction, and is a VAST improvement over Reach. Why anyone would be unhappy and/or ungrateful for that is beyond my comprehension. I consider myself somewhere between “casual” and “competitive”, depending on my mood (which is why I have 2 XBL accounts for the 2 different play styles), and I am overall generally pleased with everything I’ve seen so far, and couldn’t be more excited to play this game.

Now the only thing missing is the Locust…and the vulture then 343 would ascend to the pantheon of goodhood like few developers have